Education and Arts

Action Research Activities

Members of the Project Team have invited primary and secondary schools to collaborate in action research with a view to the planned integration of Catholic identity across the formal school curriculum. The focus at secondary level is on teachers from subject disciplines outside of Religious Education.

Participating teachers are supported in the following ways:

  • Payment of teacher supply to cover for participating teachers engaged in design, planning and associated meetings
  • Professional development programmes in relevant aspects of Catholic teaching, curriculum development and action research
  • Ongoing professional support with planning, curriculum development, reflective practice,implementation and evaluation of school-based activities
  • Provision of relevant resources (Caritas, Global Education Project, Edmund Rice Australia etc., linked with Australian Curriculum.
  • Option to gain 10 academic credits towards ACU Education Master's programmes (Master of Educational Leadership; Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Leadership; Master of Religious Education; Master of Education) by taking ‘The Reflective Practitioner, School-based Inquiry and Teacher Professional' Unit.

Attempts to identify participating schools have involved:

  • Working through the BCE North and South Support Centres
  • Making invited presentations in approximately 20 schools
  • Invitation issued to approximately 55 schools visited for purposes of administration of survey
  • Using other opportunities as they arose e.g. workshops during Toowoomba Catholic Education week; presentations to Catholic Education staff in Townsville, Rockhampton, Cairns.

The action research dimension of the project is currently working with four schools (two primary, two secondary):

Holy Spirit Primary School, Bray Park

St Anthony's Primary School, Alexandra Hills

St Columban's College, Caboolture

St Teresa's College, Noosaville

Holy Spirit: With the support of the APRE, two teachers (Year 6, Visual Arts) have integrated principles of Catholic Social Teaching such as human dignity, preferential option for the poor and inclusiveness (Stolen Generations) across three Units during Term 3, 2015. As well as collaborating on a joint Visual Arts/Year 6 initiative, these teachers have worked independently with Year 3 (Visual Arts) and Year 6 (English, Geography and Citizenship). They work as reflective practitioners, formatively evaluating the Unit and preparing to share their experiences with colleagues.

St Anthony's: Three Year 3 teachers will collaborate on the integration of stewardship of creation across Religious Education, English, Mathematics and Geography in Term 4, 2015.

St Columban's, Caboolture: With the support of the APRE and Head of RE, three Science teachers will integrate the CST principle, ‘Stewardship of Creation', across the Year 12 Biology Unit, ‘Human Impact on Ecosystems', in Term 4, 2015, drawing on Laudato Si.

St Teresa's, Noosaville: Two HPE teachers plan to integrate the Catholic Social Teaching principle of Human Dignity.

Participants work collaboratively on planning, implementation and reflection. Ideally these schools will serve as examples of good practice and inform future thinking and policy in relation to the integration of a Catholic perspective across the curriculum. Schools that have completed the first piloting phase will present their findings at a showcase event during Term 1, 2016.

Those wishing to gain the associated ACU credits are required to:

  • identify a relevant practical problem associated with their work (e.g. the planned integration of a Catholic Social Teaching principle through my subject).
  • investigate relevant research literature
  • design, implement and evaluate an action plan
  • identify lessons for their future teaching using their own systematic reflections, the observations of a critical friend, and student feedback.

Relevance to Australian National Curriculum

Participating teachers are encouraged to develop the obvious links between the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and some of the general capabilities and cross-curricular themes of the Australian National Curriculum e.g. Ethical Understanding, Critical Thinking, Sustainability.

Contact us

If you are interested in pursuing this option please contact Professor Gleeson at jim.gleeson@acu.edu.au or at 07 3623 7786